And the quiet ones who are bothered by little upsets, but give furious fight when cornered, or if the ones they are responsible for are threatened. I can spot those, mostly because I am one. Step on me a long time, but don't push me too far. I see those kindred iron bars.
My brother who was in the Air Force claimed near supernatural ability to discern this trait. He liked the ex, though. And never saw how strong or stubborn I was. I thought him full of shit then, still sure of it. He's the kind of person I didn't trust to have a drink around. I'd probably trust him in a dire emergency to be useful, over there, say, with the extraction unit. Away from the medical triage group. Not completely inept, but not who I want working hand in glove with me. Maybe he could see it, in some people, the strong ones, maybe not so much.
I have worked with many nurses and surgeons and techs of all flavors who are very good at doing the job in front of them, innovative people who find a way to do the impossible, or steady folks who stay calm and do exactly what they are told, or the fast and the paranoid, who get all possible disasters prepared for, just in case. Rarely do the panicky or obstructive stay in the trauma arena, drifting off with their organizational skills to plastics or eye surgery, slow specialties with little chance of codes, transfusions, or sudden death. Well, good for them, it ain't for everyone. And ER nurses wind up in Same Day Surgeries, after they've sucked enough adrenaline. But, well, they still got it. Deep down and tired, but always waiting for the fight.
Our friends are pretty much all people I'd have at my back in an emergency. Some have better skills in one area or another, but they all have that essential quality. It's an ability to put oneself aside to staunch the blood, dive into the water, hold the rope biting into their hands, drop anything to be at the ER at 3AM, order the truck, move the furniture, offer the room, force one to eat dinner, pick one up at the airport or face a friend in grief or joy equally.
I like strong people. But mostly I like honest folk, who know what they will do when the fit hits the shan. That, ultimately, is what makes someone good. Because one who knows what they can do, and will do it, beats an asshole with a god complex any day. That candid assessment of one's strengths and weakness is what makes one reliable. Not going to pretend, not going to venture where the panic will even start. That clear view of the truth, and a willingness to strive within one's ability, is what makes anyone in a crisis valuable.
Know who you are, know what you can do, do that.